Reflecting on Dreamation 2016

I dipped my toe back in the convention waters with Metatopia last year and knew I’d be going back to Dreamation this year. It was nice to be back.  I attend cons like a grown-up now. When I yawn after midnight, I go to sleep. I wake up and hit up the morning gaming slots. I eat every meal and come home tired but not exhausted. It only took me until 40 years old to begin to get this right.

Walking into the con and being surprised at faces I didn’t expect to see, putting names to G+ avatar pics and turning online acquaintances into friends is a wonderful process. Rooming with Rob and talking about our day’s gaming while we dealt with the hotel’s dry air but moisturizing our legs is one of those wonderful and awkward game con moments that I missed.

Game-wise, I have to figure out how I want to interact with game conventions because it isn’t clear to me. I love games and love gaming but I’m not sure 4 hour one-shots are where its at for me.

My favorite games are fun in cons but not as fun as they are after a dozen or more sessions. I don’t have any interest in Burning Wheel blood opera, with lots of Beliefs arming and pointing the characters at one another like that scene from Resevoir Dogs.


This weekend I ran Sorcerer in a science fiction setting that I wrote down years ago and never did much with. My problem with Sorcerer is that the first session is always good but the second session is always an order of magnitude better. I GMed 3 solid sessions of Sorcerer this weekend but left the table wishing I could play a second session.


Thanks to Rachel tipping me off via IM last week, I played in the Thousand Arrows Long Con/Kristacon, a 3 session game about Samurai invading Korea in the midst of an attack of the Dragon King’s sea monsters. The game had its moments and its problems. I’ll dissect and critique later. It feels wrong to start in with a scalpel while the organizers and GM’s are still recovering from sleep deprivation after their hard work. The game was on the morning slot of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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For now, Brennan should be happy that he has a Powered by the Apocalypse Hack that is coming along well. James should be happy that his passionate work exposed me to a period of history I knew nothing about and has instilled in me a powerful passion for learning more about it. Brand should be happy that I could listen to him talk about any historical period for as long as he cares to talk about it. Krista should be happy that I am not sure I have ever disliked a PC/NPC as much as I disliked her General Gwon.

I am wondering if some kind of 3 session long-connish format is where my sweet spot might be. I’d enjoy running one table of 3 or 4 for 3 sessions over a weekend. However, it is a gamble for all of the players involved.

It would be neat to play a full season of Primetime Adventures

or a long-con of Shock: (maybe the building of a generation trip, the journey and then the arrival)

or even Burning Wheel (in which there is an uprising against the human dukes, dwarven princes and elven etharchs by the crafts-folk and peasants)

or Torchbearer (in which there are 9 dungeons are taken down by 3 tables of adventurers over 3 sessions, divvying up the adventurers based on the intel by the delving guild’s leadership).

It was that kind of con – a come home and write about game ideas kind of con. It was a smile thinking of friends kind of con. It was a write notes about game moments to write about later kind of con. It was a make new friends kind of con.

Which is to say it was the best kind of con.

Happy Star Wars Day: May the 4th be with you.

I can kvetch about the prequels or Jar-Jar Binks but the fact is when I hear a lightsaber noise I drool like any good fanboy.

Here are a few old Star Wars RPG ideas that have been rattling around in my head for ages:

Resevoir Rebels

That Hutt scored the holo-plans to the Imperial Galactic Bank and now you know when the next shipment is coming in. The risk is high but the pay-off is juicy, real juicy, junior.

Now the Hutt is getting a posse together, a bunch of galactic dogs from far, far away who can handle themselves if things get nasty. Sure there’ll be alot of people there during the day but you’ll have the manpower to handle it.

An A.W.O.L. Emperor’s Guard, a Wookie fresh from the slave-ships with a chip on his shoulder, a shell-shocked Rebel soldier who is still still hasn’t made his way to Rendez-vous Point after the whole Hoth fiasco and an old man with a lightsaber against the most fortified piece of real estate on Coruscant.

If there is a bright center to the universe, let’s shoot it with heavy blasters and be away on speeder-bikes before they know what hit ’em. 

and of course…

Star Wars – Revenge of the Jedi
Episode LV

The SKYWALKER DYNASTY, whose dark will is enforced by the brutal nobles of the SITH COURT, has ruled the Galaxy for a Thousand Years of Tyranny.

The Sith Courtiers have grown CORUSCANT like a cyclopean technological flower, with five DEATH STAR satellites guarding the Dyson Fortress.

Even now the Clans CALRISSIAN and FETT have put aside their differences in order to put together two ancient DROIDS, who contain plans that could destroy Coruscant forever….

Here’s the link to our Gen Con PTA game set in the above galaxy – far, far away.

Some day I’d like to think that I’ll get to find out what happened to the Wookie Messiah and his friends.